Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan

 Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan

Wanna know what makes boondocking even more fun? Sharing it with your granddaughters.

The two track we took in
The two track we took in

We retreated to our favorite boondocking spot in Michigan, some family property up in the woods of Ogemaw County, about a dozen miles east of West Branch. The 200-acre spread takes up both sides of the Rifle River and borders state land so we really can escape.

Our kids all grew up coming up here every weekend Jenifer and I could so it was a special treat to take Hua Hua, 13, and Rachel, 10, to the their Mom, Wendy's, favorite spot. We hiked with the girls and found the exact location where we used to camp in a pop-up, took a photo and texted it to their mom.


Bo guarding the site
Bo guarding the site

The boondocking campsite we use is very remote, two miles off a two lane state road on a county road, then a mile into the woods on a two-track overlooking a bend of the river along a high sandy bank. Bo gets to run free, off leash.

Later on, when we did a Facebook Live video feed from the site, son, Jeffrey, who also grew up camping up here, was among the live viewers, watching with his 17-month-old daughter, Jovie, who will also surely come here some day.

Here's our Facebook Live video feed:

Hua Hua, who is the family artist, began a colored pencil drawing of our Roadtrek that I will hang on my office wall.

We made our favorite camping meal, Jennifer's “Boondocking Bonanza,” a mix of hamburger, canned corn, sliced potatoes and onions that we wrap up tight in tin foil and stick in the fire or on a grill.

At night, we made S'mores around the campfire, told some stories and headed inside the Roadtrek to watch a DVD of Narnia before bedtime


Our campsite
Our campsite

The temperature dropped to 45 degrees overnight.

The girls were toasty comfy in the Roadtrek, Hua Hua and Jennifer slept on the two beds in the back. Rachel slept on a four inch thick mattress-pad that we put across the two front seats.


Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals
Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals

Mike and Bo's spent the night in tent. It was a mixed experience. Bo loved it, curled up sled-dog style next to Mike, who tossed and turned all night long on the hard ground because he disregarded Jennifer's suggestion to bring an air mattress and instead settled for an inadequate inch and a half thick foam pad.


The high banks view of the Rifle River
The high banks view of the Rifle River

Lesson learned.

Great time had by all, though, with lots of memories.

We all love to hike and explore
We all love to hike and explore
Bo loves being free!
Bo loves being free!


Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • Great feed in Nebraska

  • Keep losing you, buffers a long time

  • Hello

  • I have one..of those recliners…but not fit in my 170….

  • It’s good here!

  • Good in Arizona!

  • Great in North Carolina

  • Once in a while it hiccups, but it gets OK right away…Mississippi…

  • Very good signal here in NB Canada.

  • What did you use to remove the limbs?

  • Hershey chocolate in frid

  • Is that public property or private

  • Cold and dark

  • Kicking on the heat tonight?

  • This is your best video cast ever.

  • See you soon in the Porkies

  • How do you keep Beau from running off after deer

  • Enjoy the campfire! Have fun!

  • Looks like a fun time

  • Jessica and the gang of girls say hi to Hua Hua and Rachel (I am typing the message for them)

  • Looks like a great spot! Similar to our family’s place north of Calgary in Canada.

  • Hi Mike and Jennifer. See you in the Porkies!

  • Mike, you need one of those new trailers shown in Hershey show.

  • Hi Mike and Gang

  • What’s for dinner?

  • What adorable girls!

  • I hope you’ve all got down vests. Brrrr!

  • Sleep on the chair

  • Air mattress works great…

  • Hey M & J….looking good

  • Love the pod cast

  • Hi from the sugar beet counters!!!

  • Looks like a lot of fun!

  • Trout for breakfast

  • Hey Mike, I love your secret spot!!!!!!

  • Have fun

  • Thanks for this podcast

  • Thanks!

  • Enjoyed watching

  • Thanks, for sharing! Be Safe!

  • Incredible girls. You guys are the best!

  • Jovie is watching

  • Way to go, girls!

  • Lovely spot ?

  • Hi girls, how’s the water?

  • Jovie keeps asking to see her cousins

  • Bo not tai

  • Jim and Cindy Blair checking in !

  • Ok in Oregon, too

  • Hi mike and Jen and girls???

  • No problems in Alabama.

  • Freezing ?

  • Beautiful girls

  • Any problems with ticks up there, particularly witht

  • Snores tonight?

  • Smores*

  • Suppose to say ” with dogs”

  • Beautiful!!!

  • Jovie is so excited to see her cousins

  • Why are the images flipped – your RT looks like it opens on the UK side? – must be a camera function

  • Great reception in Northville. MI.

  • My feed is fine too

  • S’mores tonight yummm

  • How about some details on that dinner? Do you add any seasoning, butter, etc. Cooking technique?

    Sounds like a great outing!

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